Google wants to revolutionize real-world social life with its new Google+ features, including pre-event "Cinemagraphs" and "party mode," which lets users automatically share pictures taken during the get-together. But how does Google plan to build engagement with the network, and what does this mean for the rest of its web tools? We sat down with Google Senior VP of Engineering (and formerly of Social) Vic Gundotra and Product Management VP Bradley Horowitz to discuss where Google+ is going.
"Google+ is at its heart about building one seamless experience," Gundotra told us, noting that Google's overall services don't have any kind of "engagement problem." Many of the new social features introduced at I/O depend on the popularity of Google's calendar and mail tools, for example. Part of that seamlessness, Horowitz added, is curating content, partners, or comments, and it's one of the reasons Google says it's waited to integrate services like Flipboard. But while the company may be circumspect about adding outside tools, Gundotra says the various product teams at Google have come together to integrate Plus as tightly as possible. Plenty of Google services have quietly faded out in the past years, including proto-social networks Buzz and Wave, but the company's latest effort, which has been both praised and maligned for its omnipresence, apparently isn't going anywhere.